Thursday, 30 July 2009

Another Whale at Matava

According to Ngati Porou Legend, the legend of my tribe, 'Paikea' came to New Zealand from the Pacific Islands on the back of a whale many centuries ago. The whales name was Tohora and he took Paikea to the east Coast of the North Island of New Zealand near to a place now called Gisborne. This is near to where I am from.

When diving this south side of Fiji's southern most Island, Kadavu, which is known as NewZealandi lailai (the small New Zealand), I look South and think about New Zealand and my home. Today being no exception.

Mona and Steve from California were our only diving guests today, so after our first dive we decided to cruise along the water and have our tea and coffee surface interval on the boat. We sat and relaxed in the sun.

All of a sudden a splash from behind the boat. At first we thought it might be a manta ray. It was moving so fast. Our driver Mas slowed down the boat and as soon as he did we saw it surface. A Whale! Not a Pilot whale like last time, this whale was long and sleek, but it never raised its head above the water, we could only see its crescent shaped dorsal fin. Mas stopped the boat. By this point my mask and fins were on and I explained to Mona and Steve that I was getting in the water and they could join me if they wanted to. I was in.

What a strange looking animal, its nose was pointed and sharp, so different from the pilot whales. He had four huge white spots running parallel with his body from his nose to his dorsal fin. Mona and Steve soon joined me in the water and we snorkeled on the surface as the whale eyed us from below. He swam back and fourth beneath us occasionally surfacing but never taking his dark eyes of us. I was not as frozen or petrified as I was when I saw the pilot whales, we swam on the surface for a long time. At one point I saw him slowly moving towards the surface from the deep, I duck dived down to about 8m to get a better look. He swam right up to me, his head touch my feet and then my belly, I reached out my hands to touch his head as he swam under me. Three long ridges ran from his nose all the way to a twin blow hole which looked to be protected by a splash guard just like on a snorkel. Leathery skin so smooth with huge scars and scratches. He swam slowly under me and before I knew it I was holding his dorsal fin. I could see the huge white spots so closely now, they looked like scars. He continued swimming slowly as I held onto the biggest animal I have ever touched, I counted to ten. I could have held on forever but then I remembered I was holding my breath and it was somewhat important for me to surface.He wiggled his body in the water and I took that as a sign that the ride was over, so I let go. He turned around and swam beneath us again, coming and going. I was absolutely in awe of this animal and could not (can not) believe what just happened. After some time we decided to get back on the boat, but he came back, surfacing and gliding silently beneath us, so we got back in just for one last look at this amazing creature. After seeing the pilot whales I never thought I would get an opportunity like that again but here I am less than four days later with a similar story.


I later found out that the Whale that we saw was a Bryde's Whale (Pronounced Brutus), this Whale is known as Pakake in New Zealand and this type of whale can be traced back to some of the oldest legends in Maori culture.

According to Ngati Porou legend, the legend of my tribe 'Paikea' came to New Zealand from the Pacific Islands on the back of a whale many centuries ago. I bet he had an awesome trip.

Contribute to the Ocean in Focus Conservation Photography Contest

Your Chance to Submit Photos
Will Be Gone in a Flash

Contribute to the Ocean in Focus Conservation Photography Contest

 
      

               laysan albatross alive         laysan albatross killed by plastic
 
SeaWeb's Marine Photobank and Project AWARE Foundation
 
encourage you to submit your compelling ocean photos to the
Ocean in Focus Conservation Photography Contest.

 
::
 

Submit your photos that engage viewers
in pressing marine issues and solutions
that address the rapid decline of our ocean's health.

 
::

Submissions must be received by August 27th, 2009.
 
::

Grand prize package includes:
    · Seven nights ocean-view accommodations at MATAVA, a premier eco-adventure resort in Fiji. Package includes five days, two-tank diving for two and six days unlimited shore diving for two as well as round-trip airport transfers.
    · A DVD copy of A Sea Change.
    · 16 tons of Carbon Offsets through NativeEnergy for your home and car for one year, plus carbon offsets for one round-trip air flight.
 
::
 






    Contest Sponsored by:

Marine Photobank Logo       underwaterbook   Project Aware Foundation Logo for Photo Contest                                               
           



  

     Prize Donors Include:

     coral spawning                                                  Matava Eco Resort logo better              
                         


AZU Hannah Garrison logo                            Native Energy Logo for Photo Contest          


Talbot logo      A Sea Change

 
              



Project Aware  |   Marine Photobank  |
  SeaWeb  |   PADI

Photos: Left: Laysan Albatross, Midway Atoll, HI. Jennifer O'Leary. 
Right: Laysan Albatross Chick, Kure Atoll, HI. Claire Fackler, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Shark Free Marinas: Reducing worldwide shark mortality.


Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters take the leading role in the world with a major shark conservation initiative in the gamefishing community.

KADAVU, FIJI ISLANDS – 14 July 2009 – Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters are proud to take a world wide leading role in the the international Shark-Free Marina Initiative.

The international Shark-Free Marina Initiative works with marinas, boaters and fishermen to develop policy designed to protect a vital component of the oceans health, our sharks.

Matava Director Stuart Gow said:

"We have worked hard over the past few months in Fiji at certifying many marinas and charter fishing boats as ‘Shark-Free Marinas’ and so far have more than any other country worldwide.

Matava and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters was the first in Fiji to sign up and is actively promoting, coordinating and distributing information about the Initiative. We are working towards when Fiji can be the first country to be proud to announce itself as a ‘Shark-Free Marinas’ Country!” he continued.

The majority of shark species caught by recreational and sport anglers are currently listed by the IUCN as ‘Threatened’ (or worse) and each year an average of a ½ Million of these sharks are killed in the United States alone. It is estimated that 70-100 million sharks are killed yearly world wide!

Bite Me Gamefishing Charters actively avoids fishing for any species of shark and encourages this practice to be followed by all. By encouraging non-lethal ‘catch-and-release’ shark fishing fishermen and those sharks inevitably caught accidentally can enjoy their sport while ensuring that shark populations are not further diminished. By promoting sustainable practices of ocean management we hope that sharks will be around to keep our oceans healthy for generations to come.

Many Fiji marinas and charter operations are already listed on the Shark-Free Marina website as well as having the right to use the SFMI logo and signs for their own publicity. We are now in the process of distributing the stickers, posters and metal dock signs to registered businesses, charter boats and marinas.

The SFMI website also has an education centre that we hope everyone will find useful, it includes tips on how to catch and release shark, a list of Endangered and Threatened species plus information on how they can help protect the ocean.

“At Matava, and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters we are of course both happy and proud to be spearheading this initiative in the South Pacific and indeed the World” said Matava Director and Bite Me Gamefishing Charter Captain, Captain Adrian Watt.

“We also see this as a great step forward and opportunity for all gamefishing and sportfishing charter boats, both on Kadavu and in the Fiji Islands, to move forward in their standards to achieve truly world class levels of service and capabilities demonstrated by the ‘catch and release’ programs.”

Captain Watt finished by saying “We would like to thank all friends and clients of Matava and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters past and present who have contributed to the success of our ecotouirsm principles and the resort and we look forward to exciting times ahead.”


The Shark-Free Marina Initiative has a singular purpose, to reduce worldwide shark mortality. We encourage shark conservation at sport fishing and resort marinas by prohibiting the landing of any shark at the participating marina. The SFMI works with marinas, fishermen and like minded non-profit groups to form community conscious policy and increase awareness of the need to protect our sharks, our ocean and our legacy.

Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava – Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 12 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

Bite-Me Gamefishing Charters is our on-site IGFA game fishing specialists offering the best of superb record breaking blue water game fishing for tuna, wahoo, sailfish and marlin. As an active member of IGFA and The Billfish Association we advocate tag and release of all billfish and Trevally not deemed to be a National or World Record.

www.Matava.com www.GamefishingFiji.com


Shark Free Marinas: Reducing worldwide shark mortality.

Shark Free Marinas: Reducing worldwide shark mortality.

Matava would like to invite you to be a Shark-Free Marina and Fishing Boat

Kadavu, Fiji Islands – June 25, 2009 – The international Shark-Free Marina Initiative works with marinas, boaters and fishermen to develop policy designed to protect a vital component of the oceans health, our sharks.

SFMI Sign

The majority of shark species caught by recreational and sport anglers are currently listed by the IUCN as ‘Threatened’ (or worse) and each year an average of a ½ Million of these sharks are killed in the United States alone.

By encouraging non-lethal ‘catch-and-release’ shark fishing your patrons and clients can enjoy their sport while ensuring that shark populations are not further diminished. By promoting sustainable practices of ocean management we hope that sharks will be around to keep our oceans healthy for generations to come.

Currently we are working in Fiji at certifying all marinas and charter fishing boats as ‘Shark-Free Marinas’. Matava and Bite Me Gamefishing Charters was the first in Fiji to sign up and has agreed to promote, coordinate and distribute information about the Initiative. We hope that Fiji can be the first country to be proud to announce itself as a ‘Shark-Free Marinas’ Country!

Even if your facility is not frequented by shark fishermen, becoming a Shark-Free Marina is a valuable promotional tool for your business.

SFMI Badge

You will receive a listing on the Shark-Free Marina website as well as the right to use the SFMI logo and signs for your own publicity. We are currently working on importing the stickers, posters and metal dock signs into Fiji for distribution to registered businesses, charter boats and marinas.

The SFMI website also has an education centre that we hope your clients will find useful, it includes tips on how to catch and release shark, a list of Endangered and Threatened species plus information on how they can help protect the ocean.

Neither Matava or SFMI is asking for your money, just your participation in saving the many valuable species of sharks in our local Fiji waters.

Please take the time to visit the SFMI website to find out more about how you can contribute to the future survival of our sharks while ensuring your business continues to thrive.

REGISTER HERE!

If I can be of any further assistance or help, just drop me a line.

Sincerely,
Stuart Gow
Fiji Regional Associate
Shark-Free Marina Initiative

Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Bite Me Gamefishing Charters

Simple Registration
This is a simple and free process that ensures your patrons and customers know your business cares about the worldwide problem of shark over-fishing and that your marina or charter fishing boat will not contribute to the problem.

To register simply:
Register online at www.sharkfreemarinas.com
Display a ‘Shark-Free Marina’ sign on the marina premises or on the charter boat.

About Shark-Free Marina Initiative
The Shark-Free Marina Initiative has a singular purpose, to reduce worldwide shark mortality. We encourage shark conservation at sport fishing and resort marinas by prohibiting the landing of any shark at the participating marina. The SFMI works with marinas, fishermen and like minded non-profit groups to form community conscious policy and increase awareness of the need to protect our sharks, our ocean and our legacy.

About Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Matava is the genuine eco-adventure lodge, beautifully set off the beaten track, minutes from the Great Astrolabe Reef on Kadavu Island. Our intimate resort has beautiful, comfortable bures, outstanding cuisine and offers a full range of adventure and cultural activities. Dive or take a course with our PADI dive professionals. Experience fantastic fish, pristine corals, Mantas and sharks. Try big game fishing, snorkeling, sailing, sea kayaking, trekking, and join in authentic cultural and village events! No roads, solar power, low carbon footprint make Matava the ideal and environmentally responsible location to relax and unwind.

About Bite Me Gamefishing Charters
Superb blue water game fishing for wahoo, sailfish and marlin with Bite Me Gamefishing Charters awaits you at Matava in Kadavu, Fiji Islands.As an active member of IGFA and The Billfish Association we also advocate tag and release of all billfish not deemed to be a National or World Record

Shark Free Marinas: Reducing worldwide shark mortality.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Shark Photography

Shark Photography can be a challenging subject but for many underwater photographers the reward of capturing the moment with one of the world's most formidable ocean creatures is worth the struggle and frustration.

To get good photographs of sharks you don't have to have the world's best camera or go to the most exotic locations to get spectacular images. A few short lessons from an experienced shark photographer can be a big help but before you read all of the 'how to photograph sharks' pages, please take a look at the 'ethics' page at the top of the list.

The Ethics of Photographing Sharks

Shark Photography - Composition

Shark Photography - Strobe use

Shark Photography - Exposure challenges

Shark Photography - Shooting Sharks at Night

Shark Photography - Photographing rays on sand

Shark Photography - Getting Close

Shark Photography - Surface work and using Pole Cams

Project Deep Shark



Shark Photography

Dive-a-Thon 2009 (Now in July!)

Dive-a-Thon is SDOF's largest fundraiser of the year, with the goal to "get divers diving" - while spreading our message of ocean stewardship. Similar to a walk-a-thon, divers seek financial pledges from friends and family to support their diving goal during the month of July. Divers choose to set fundraising goals and compete to log the most minutes underwater. ANY diver in the world can register for this event, and registered divers can get credit for dives completed ANYWHERE in the world during July.

Whether you are newbie, a professional, or not a diver at all, you can help SDOF and win great prizes in the process! You can choose to be in either the Competitive, Social, or Non-Diver category.

Prizes are awarded based on points: Each $1 raised earns you 2 points. Each 1 minute logged earns you 1 point. The tax-deductible registration fee is $25 and includes a FREE event t-shirt. Registration opens on June 1st! Fundraising begins July 1st - runs through August 9th at 11:59PM

FREE AIR FILLS for all Dive-a-Thon participants! Register/Login to learn more!

Click Here to Register

Already registered? SDOF DAT Portal Log In

Click here if you do not see a list on the left of participants

Ways to Donate:
Click on the names in blue link on the left
or send a check with the participant's name in the memo section to:
SDOF - 1875 Quivira Way C-5, San Diego, CA 92109

Prizes include:

Fiji Dive Vacation for 2!
Including roundtrip airfare from LAX, 7 nights / 8 days, 5-days of 2-tank diving, unlimited shore diving & all meals
Sponsored by Air Pacific & Matava Fiji’s Premiere Eco Adventure Resort


The San Diego Oceans Foundation | Member Portal

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Kate on Manta Reef

Kate

Matava Resort - Kadavu Island Forum - TripAdvisor

Went in November 2007 for a week and absolutely loved it.

Once you land it is an hour boat ride to the resort and the boat is very small but the view is spectacular - reminds you of what the first explorers would have seen - so untouched. Maggi welcomes you and takes you to your bure. Most of them do not have electricity but ours had a light in the main area and the bathroom but we never used them. Anything that needs to plugged in can be done in the office.

We dove every day and it was spectacular - my first experience with Manta Rays and there were seven swimming around us - awesome! We took the meal package and enjoyed eating with everyone and the conversations that took place. Of course had the Kava experience and the Lovo - cooking on rocks.

You are welcome to bring your own alcohol and we brought a box of red wine which they kept for us and served it at dinner. As long as you can handle being without your blackberry and laptop this is the place for you. We recommended to other friends who went this year in June and also thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the diving.

Matava Resort - Kadavu Island Forum - TripAdvisor

Friday, 17 July 2009

Drex and Me!

Drex is one of the drivers here at Matava.

Mostly he drives the dive boats. Drex doesn’t say too much but he is very good at making the teas and coffees at surface interval time (Much better then I am).


Like all our drivers Drex knows these reefs very well and is on the money at getting us to and from dive sites. I qualified Drex as an open water diver at the start of the year, boy was that fun – for both of us.

Sometimes when it rains Drex will wear his big yellow raincoat and pants, sometimes even a mask, I laugh but it is actually quite a practical outfit.

I always wonder what the driver does whilst waiting for the divers, Drex tells me he just spends his time looking for the bubbles. Good enough answer for me.

Beyond Blue Magazine

Beyond Blue Issue 4

Welcome to the new face of Beyond Blue magazine!

Issue 4 is now available in PDF and ultra-cool Imag editions (see our previous issues page for full details), and showcases Beyond Blue's brand new identity. From the moment Issue 3 was published, our design team at Oceans Interactive got to work on developing a style which would allow us to both add extra depth to the magazine, while also helping us stand out as unique and individual.

With this new facelift comes a variety of new content, including some of our most interesting features and articles to date, and a simply awe-inspiring portfolio of underwater photography featuring the ever beautiful Marlins.

We also have a new web site, complete with community elements such as blogs and online forums, allowing our readers to share their thoughts, suggestions and opinions with one another.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to the Beyond Blue web site now to gain access to all our amazing features and content.

Thanks for your time, we look forward to hearing from you on the forums!


Beyond Blue Magazine

International Cleanup Day 19 September 2009

Your data counts in the fight against marine debris. Contribute to the Global Marine Debris Index by organizing a cleanup for the largest underwater volunteer event of its kind.

Register online for International Cleanup Day to make your cleanups count!

Why not take the fundraising challenge! Pledge to raise AU$300 and receive 20 cleanup bags absolutely free. It’s as simple as having a cleanup day BBQ, auction or raffle to raise much needed funds to support Project AWARE’s ongoing conservation projects. To join the fundraising challenge email us today

South Korean divers combat marine debris and raise funds for underwater conservation on Earth Day
Project AWARE thanks Korean Dive Centres who joined forces to raise funds for conservation on Dive for Earth Day: Aqua Marine, Best Dive Masan, Blue Divers, Eco Scuba, Lucy Diver, NB Divers, Paran Bada, Scuba Friend , Top Sports. Fabulous prizes generously donated by the dive centres ensured the charity auction was a big success, raising more than AUD$1,400 to support aquatic conservation.

Photo Contest Turns Lenses Toward Ocean Conservation
Project AWARE Foundation and SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank Photo Contest seeks entries that show impacts on marine environments and inspire conservation actions. Photographers of all experience levels can vie for the Grand Prize: a diving vacation that includes a seven-night stay at Matava - Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort. Entries welcome from June 8 2009 - August 27 2009

For more news and green diving tips check out the new Project AWARE Blog or become a Fan on Facebook


Surface Interval July/August 2009

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Photo Contest Turns Lenses Toward Ocean Conservation

Scuba divers and ocean enthusiasts give it their best eco shot in this unique contest

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.—Project AWARE Foundation and SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank are again joining forces to host the second annual photo contest to encourage photographers to turn their lenses in a different direction. The Ocean in Focus Conservation Photography Contest seeks entries that show impacts on marine environments and inspire conservation actions.

Photographers of all experience levels—including conservationists, scientists, divers, travelers and students—are encouraged to vie for the Grand Prize: a diving vacation that includes a seven-night stay at Matava - Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort. Prizes also include coral-inspired necklaces from Hannah Garrison, 16 tons of carbon offsets from NativeEnergy and more.

Photographers with an environmental eye will compete for prizes in two contest categories: Species of Concern/Ecosystem Decline and Humans and the Ocean: Impacts and Solutions. These images will help researchers, educators and non-governmental organizations depict and address ocean issues.

“As AWARE divers, we have a personal relationship with underwater environments and often see damage to underwater ecosystems,” said Jenny Miller Garmendia. “But we are also often part of the solution by participating in ongoing conservation projects around the world. This photo contest gives divers and water enthusiasts opportunities to tell these conservation stories through powerful imagery.”

“This photo contest is geared toward advancing ocean conservation through the power of imagery,” said SeaWeb President Dawn M. Martin. “There are many problems to be addressed in the ocean. Anyone who holds a camera in their hand has the power to change the hearts and minds of people around them through the images they capture and the inspiration those images can provide.”

The contest, beginning June 8, 2009, will accept photo entries through August 27, 2009. Partner organizations and sponsors for this year’s contest aim to inspire high-quality images that deliver powerful conservation messages and help illuminate the challenges facing our oceans. For complete contest submission details visit www.marinephotobank.org.


Project AWARE Foundation (www.projectaware.org), a registered nonprofit organization, works in direct partnership with divers and water enthusiasts to conserve underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. Project AWARE Headquarters in the United States and offices in Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Japan combine efforts to protect aquatic resources in 175 countries and territories of the world.

SeaWeb (www.seaweb.org) is a communications-based nonprofit organization that uses social marketing techniques to advance ocean conservation. By raising public awareness, advancing science-based solutions and mobilizing decision-makers around ocean conservation, we are leading voices for a healthy ocean. The Marine Photobank (www.marinephotobank.org), a project of SeaWeb, encourages ocean conservation by collecting and providing compelling, high-quality marine photos, images and graphics at no cost for non-commercial use as well as for media use under special terms. The Marine Photobank aims to illuminate pressing marine issues and human impacts on the ocean through imagery

Photo Contest Turns Lenses Toward Ocean Conservation : Divenewswire

Friday, 10 July 2009

Manta Specialty Course at Matava

Do you know that the word Manta is the Spanish word for Blanket? I didn’t until just recently. I never dived with mantas before I came to Matava.

Here I am now though, diving with mantas as often as I can. It was Stuart's idea (he’s known for them), and a great one at that, why don’t we write a Manta Specialty course? So we did! And for the first time last weekend we ran it.

The course involves 2 Open water Dives and important information about Mantas and how to identify different species. It takes no more then a day to complete and then all the information and manta sightings we collect can then be logged on to the Global manta Database who’s principle goal is to identify resident Manta Rays and those that migrate.

So the first group of keen enthusiasts tried it out. Stine and Morton from Denmark, Minna from the USA, John and Hazel from England and  Eric from Tasmania Australia. Photos were taken and divers were happy, a new Manta was named (after our friend Abbie Hines, one of the world's manta experts) and registered and all in all the day was a success.


Meet Abbie, the smallest manta on the reef

The first Manta enthusiasts to complete the manta Specialty course (Doing the manta dance!)
Back: Stine, Minna, Hazel
Front Morton, Me (Kate), John

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Chose a Project AWARE Version of Your PADI certification Card

The next time you take a PADI course help to support Project AWARE Foundation (International) by choosing a Project AWARE version of your certification card.

You can order one of these limited edition Project AWARE versions of your PADI certification card for a minimum donation of £5. These colourful collector cards are now available for new certifications or as a replacement card.

Contact your PADI instructor for further details or visit http://www.padi.com/padi/en/kd/c-card/default.aspx for more information on a replacement card.



Chose a Project AWARE Version of Your PADI certification Card

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Winer of 2009 Underwater Photo and Video Competition Conservation : 2009 "Togetherness" Category

2009 Underwater Photo and Video Competition

2009 "Togetherness" Category

This category can be taken with any lens and should depict any sort of marine togetherness without having disturbed the natural order of the marine environment.


First Place

Dany Weinberg - Eliat, Israel



"Male Fight"

Second Place

Bruce Yates - Medina, Washington USA

"Mandarinfish with Eggs"

Third Place

Amaury Cruz - Miami Beach, Florida USA

"Dolphins"

Honorable Mention

Christine Kelbe - Kwazulu Natal, S. Africa

"Roomates"

Honorable Mention

Luc Rooman - Kieldrecht, Belgium

"Sepia Love"

Honorable Mention

Uwe Schmolke - Hessen, Germany

"Is There Anyone More Out There, Dad?"


Winner: Dany Weinberg - Eliat, Israel won:

Matava

Two for One Dive Package at Matava

Matava, Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort and Mad Fish Dive Center are donating a two for one package at their resort. The first person pays full price and his/her dive partner goes for free. Includes: five days of two tank diving (10 dives) for 2 people, all day free access to shore diving at The Critter Junction, use of Kayaks and snorkeling gear, seven nights in Oceanview Bure, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited tea/coffee), airport and boat transfers to/from Kadavu airport for two people and all taxes for two people.

Matava is the genuine eco-adventure lodge beautifully set off the beaten track on Kadavu Island, Fiji. We have beautiful comfortable bures outstanding cuisine and a full range of adventure and cultural activities. No roads, solar power, low carbon footprint make Matava the ideal environmentally responsible location to relax and unwind

Mad Fish Dive Centre is Matava's on site PADI Dive Centre. We dive the The Great Astrolabe Reef extensively and cater for all levels of diver from beginner to experienced. You’ll benefit from our exclusivity because you’ll hardly ever see another dive boat! www.matava.com

Conservation

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

What a trip!

For the last week I have had the pleasure of meeting and diving with Bill Boyce.

Bill has an extensive knowledge of the marine environment, a great understanding of current conservation issues, his joke telling ability is second to none and he has an amazing talent for underwater photography. And these talents I’m sure are the tip of the iceberg that is Bill Boyce, however the greatest thing about diving with Bill is his enthusiasm… about everything.

 Joe and Bill fishing for sailfish (a Fiji National Record there!)
AND we didn't cut Joe out the photo this time Tim!

Now as a dive guide you always want to find the holy grail of species, the most beautiful nudibranch, the harlequin ghost pipe fish, the biggest manta, whatever it is you want to show the divers, you want it to be well cool! So I show Bill a few things that I find amazing, a beautiful emerald anemone, this gets a "YAHOO!" (yes he can talk underwater!), a pipe fish gets a few high fives and by the time I show him a tiny little nudibranch nestled in a sand flat I get a great big shove and I can hear him shouting underwater ‘no way man – how’d you see that!

We surface from every dive and Bill is exploding with excitement about everything we just saw. This is the kind of diving I love, when every single thing underwater is appreciated, when every fish is admired for its diversity, where every nudibranch has its five minutes of fame, where each scratch on a sharks sleek body is recognised. People who are excited about diving, keep diving alive.

Thanks a lot Bill, all I can say is what a trip!